A beginner’s guide to TikTok: How to make videos and go viral

If you don’t live in a cave, chances are you’ve heard about TikTok.

It’s one of the most popular social media platforms today, patronized by subscribers from across generations, from the discerning Gen Z crowd to fun-loving boomers in need of some form of creative outlet.

Even brands have turned the platform into one of their preferred online marketing channels.

The popularity enjoyed by TikTok is easy to understand.

TikTok videos are fun to watch.

They’re fun to make, too.

TikTok users have two things in common: a can-do attitude and a thirst for virality.

Those two ingredients are enough to turn you into an instant TikTok celebrity.

That popularity can easily spill into other social media platforms and, before you know it, you’re a legit online influencer.

Your face will be recognized by fans on the streets.

Businesses will seek you out to tout one of their products while you dance to the latest TikTok craze.

All you need is one compelling video.

But before we get into how you can pull that off, first, let’s look into TikTok’s humble beginnings.

How TikTok came to be

TikTok has been around for a little over two years.

Before TikTok became TikTok, it was called Musical.ly.

In 2017, ByteDance bought the platform.

The rest is history as they say.

Since becoming TikTok, the app has had over a billion downloads.

This level of popularity can be attributed to the platform’s wholesomeness.

On TikTok, it’s all about fun and games.

And anything that gains traction welcomes the participation of everyone regardless of background and demographic.

While TikTok’s most popular among the Gen Z crowd that champions and supports authenticity, it has also attracted ardent users from other generations, including millennials, Gen Xers, and even boomers.

It’s worth noting that some of the most compelling content you’ll find on TikTok come from grannies.

Now the question is, how does one become popular on TikTok?

Read on for practical answers.

How to go viral on TikTok

Find your niche

This is the go-to advice for all aspiring social media influencers.

You need to pinpoint what you’re great at and what you know and stick to that.

Doing what you’re passionate about will inevitably result in relatable and engaging content, one that will resonate with your target audience.

As earlier mentioned, TikTok audiences rally behind authenticity.

They’ll know if you’re faking it.

So make sure the content you dish out comes organically from you, as cliché as it sounds, heart.

Get loud

If you don’t mind a shortcut, this tip is right up your alley.

Post controversial content that will get people talking.

Keep in mind that anything controversial could yield either of two results.

One is you will get praised for your courage and, again, authenticity.

The other possible outcome is you divide your audience, with half of TikTok users in support of your hot takes and the other half enraged.

Whichever of these outcomes come to fruition, rest assured you’ll gain viewers and followers.

Once you have got those captive followers, that’s the time you can tone it down a little if only to refrain from offending your constants.

Know what’s trending

Compared to the previous tip, this is far less risky.

Still, it’s quite reliable.

TikTok trends come and go.

And it’s up to you to choose which trends you feel you can contribute something new.

For instance, a simple dance craze tweaked to show your unique quirks and personality can be enough to make you stand out.

Go to the Discover page.

That’s where you’ll know what’s trending in your area.

While you’re still building your followers, it’s best to have limited but precise goals.

Start with getting the attention of people from your country first.

Limit your search for trends in your location.

Worldwide stardom can wait.

Even when you’ve already made it on TikTok, it still pays to keep up with trending videos.

That’s because your audience wants to see you participate in these trends.

Consider it your way of ensuring your target market gets a top-notch experience from your brand.

Yes, at this point, you’re already a brand.

Use FOMO to your advantage

Another surefire way of going viral on TikTok is doing something worth emulating.

Make your audience feel FOMO (that’s fear of missing out, for you dear boomers).

If they do, they will replicate your video.

That will get you the virality you crave.

FOMO-inspiring content runs the gamut.

It can be as simple as eating something that inspires nostalgia in viewers.

Add quirk and creativity to your way of eating and, voila, you’re TikTok-popular.

You can also brainstorm an interesting challenge that will get TikTok users to participate.

It should be fun, original, and not too complicated.

Get friendly with a TikTok influencer

This is another shortcut.

If you have no qualms about being chummy with people whom you know can give you some sort of career advantage, chances are you won’t roll your eyes on this recommendation.

List down the TikTok influencers you look up to.

Try to get their attention.

Build a relationship with them.

Once you’ve become besties, suggest a collab.

If you’re good at what you do, that suggestion will come off organic as opposed to opportunistic.

An alternative route: pay an established TikToker to collab with you.

Mind your TikTok arsenal

Invest in the best gadgets as you create your content.

You can’t go wrong with the quality of Apple products so have those in your arsenal if you can afford to.

In closing

The TikTok boom is no fluke.

The platform’s cultural impact was made possible by its well-thought-out design that recognizes our collectively diminishing attention spans and our hankering for a sense of community.

Having unlocked what audiences want, TikTok’s only bound to get bigger and bolder.

And it’s high time you join in on the fun.

That is even if you do live in a cave.

In fact, that’s even more of an argument why you should be on TikTok.

There is not a lot of cave-adjacent content in the platform, and you could very well be the niche’s pioneer.

It’s time to show the world your unique living arrangements and jumpstart your TikTok stardom.

In no time, you’ll get to monetize your cave-dwelling in ways you’ve probably never imagined.

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